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Everything posted by paulraphael

  1. paulraphael

    Ice Cream!

    Reminds me of the Cheese Cartel propaganda they fed us as kids on Saturday mornings.
  2. I met a guy at a dinner party who was kick-starting a company that made artisanal cast iron pans out of recycled Kalashnikov rifles recovered from war zones. Beat that!
  3. All of this stuff is just about odds. An appliance with a terrible repair rate might have a 25% chance of expensive failure in the first 10 years. That would still mean you've got a 75% chance of no serious trouble. And I'm not talking anyone out of buying anything. Personally, I'd love a Bluestar range. I just think it's a good idea to get all the information and do the math before committing. It also makes sense to consider who you can get to make the repairs. In a big city you've got lots of choices, but if you live farther afield, access to qualified service could be a reason t
  4. My friend is a Chicago suburb. I'm not trying to badmouth these appliances. Just repeating what I learned from my own research when exploring possible new purchases. It's like buying a BMW ... they don't just cost more to buy, they cost more to maintain and to keep going. I don't know WHY this would be with an all-mechanical, heavy duty thing, but I've heard the same story from many people.
  5. I don't know anything about that particular range. I've seen Consumer Reports-style longterm ownership reports on these ranges, though, and all the high-end brands have a high cost of ownership. Anecdotally, I have a friend with a 48 inch 4-burner plus grill + griddle Wolf range, no electronics (unless the IR broiler has electronics). He's had a couple of expensive repairs. His is pre-SubZero, back when they were made by Wolf. One of his repairs was because the char broiler got all gunked up. The repair guy said the solution was to not use it ("Yeah, you shouldn't barbecue indoors." Thanks for
  6. Blue Star is closest to a true commercial range, in several respects. This has pros and cons, depending on your priorities. I like their open burners more than anything else on the market, but someone who prioritizes easy cleanup might hate them. All these "high end" and "semi pro" ranges seem to have worse than average reliability and higher than average repair costs. So be ready for some of the pitfalls of owning a sports car.
  7. I've never heard of anything that will sanitize raw greens reliably. Chromedome's recommendations are the standard ones and are probably the best bet, but there's still some risk if you're serving someone who's got real immune system problems. At home I just do a quick rinse, unless dealing with something like leeks that are full of sand. Never had a problem, but we're not feeding vulnerable people here. I think that for the seriously immune-compromised, greens should be cooked.
  8. I wouldn't even know where to look for that.
  9. It's helpful to think about hot herb infusions as being like making tea. With mint, you'll get mint tea flavors (not very much like fresh mint). And if the temperatures are too high or the cooking time too long, you'll get overbrewed mint tea flavors, which start to inch in the direction of low tide.
  10. Globe is in a whole different category. Those have commercial motors and heavy transmissions, and once you get past the smallest size they have multi-gear transmissions. They're more like bargain Hobarts than like fancy Kitchen Aids. The newer KA 7-quart mixers, which have big motors and planetary gears would probably do really well as a light-duty commercial machine. They're built better than any previous KA machine, notwithstanding all the they-don't-make-em-like-they-used-to nostalgia. Your mom's KA wasn't built like this. I'm pretty happy with the previous generati
  11. Mint is just about the most fragile herbal flavor. It's an exercise in science (and maybe futility) to get the 3-dimensional flavor of fresh mint into a cocktail that you'll be drinking 2 minutes from now. Getting it into baked goods would require better kung-fu than what I've got. Mint oil is reliable, and can be tasty in minute amounts, but really isn't anything like fresh mint. Same with extract. If you're going to continue the experiments, maybe try Teo's idea of grinding into the sugar. It would also be interesting to do a butter infusion, but I wouldn't do it hot ... I'd go
  12. Sharpening a knife with that many curves sounds a bit ... advanced! Have you practiced on a more boring knife? Getting the basic moves and feeling with a regular chef's knife, including the ordinary curve at the tip, is the important part. I think once you're comfortable with that, the adjustments you have to make for an oddball knife will be more intuitive. That said, I don't really understand how you'd sharpen a blade that had a really concave belly on a regular stone.
  13. The earliest historical accounts say that coffee was first cultivated in Yemen. But the history is spotty, and Ethiopia is practically in the same place, so no one really knows. As far as coffee available today, all you can really do is make generalizations about a country or region. Nowadays we can get such amazing single-origin beans that have unique or even idiosyncratic characters that it's best to talk about the individual farm or co-op. Many of my favorite coffees have been Ethiopian. I have less experience with Yemen, but imagine that the range of coffees isn't
  14. This has become one of my favorites. Our local food coop has had really fresh hazelnuts lately . A vitamix does a great grinding them. I'm sure a mill would be smoother, but I'm sure there'd be a difference in the ice cream. 120g toasted hazelnut butter (65% fat) (make a larger batch so it will blend easily) 570g whole milk (3.3% fat) 120g heavy cream (36% fat) 75g skim milk powder 60g granulated sugar 45g dextrose 20g fructose 2g soy lecithin (get really good quality stuff that's super bland, or leave it out. Wi
  15. Sharpening on water stones is a skillset, just like using knives. It's hard to master. But it's pretty easy to become competent, and if you're competent you'll have sharper knives you will with a sharpening machine. And you'll have sharper knives than you had when they were brand new, and you'll have sharper knives than most pro cooks ever use (outside of Japan). I don't think it has to be such a daunting process. Just start with 2-sided combination stone (say, 2000 and 6000 grit or similar) And a beater knife that you don't mind scratching up—ideally carbon steel, because it tend
  16. I've used a paddle on VERY high-hydration doughs, like when doing an autolyse stage, or in the earliest mixing before the gluten gets going. But as soon as the dough gets thick you absolutely risk overheating the motor breaking gears. You also risk overworking the dough, which basically means ripping the gluten strands apart and killing the dough's strength.
  17. Any idea why comparative reviews online often give Bamix lousy scores? I find it confusing. Lot's of people I trust swear by them, but then I've seen at least a couple of reviewers say they were outperformed by much cheaper consumer brands. Just curious. We have a god-awful cheap stick blender that will need replacing in the next few months. I'm not dying to spend Bamix money, but will do so if they merit the hype.
  18. Yeah, good point. A few times I almost bought something from them and then just got mad. They do sell some of their products through Amazon. Sometimes it's a better deal.
  19. Good stuff at Cocktail Kingdom. https://www.cocktailkingdom.com/all-barware/ice-accessories/anvil-ice-pick https://www.cocktailkingdom.com/pitchfork-ice-pick
  20. Many years ago I had the bright idea of sending knives to a local sharpening service ... the kind of place that butcher shops hire. Luckily these were cheap Chicago Cutlery knives. The place just threw them on a bench grinder. They all came back with several millimeters of steel gone, and a concave bevel. They were basically shop knives at that point. Beware!
  21. Don't give up on it! Almost all the repairs it might need are quite inexpensive, and you'll be able to make it better than new. It can sometimes be tricky figuring out what the problem is. I broke the same pair of gears 3 times before figuring out the real problem—during the first repair, I bent the gear housing while reattaching it. Once I replaced it again, with less of a ham-fist, the thing worked perfectly.
  22. I've used oat flour in many things. It has a very high protein content. I'm not sure of all the ways it might alter texture. It will almost certainly require more liquid, and might help things stay moist longer.
  23. Making ice cream's easy. The hard part is getting it to do what you want it to do.
  24. That's an interesting old study. I actually had a copy in my pile of digital papers. It's one of the more thorough published papers on this topic—along with some of the earlier papers that it tries to refute. It's important to consider specificity in science. This paper looked for specific effects under four different combinations of time and temperature. The earlier papers that came to different conclusions were looking at somewhat different effects, and were looking at different combinations of time and temperature. It's not surprising that they came to different conclusions. I p
  25. I'm working for a company that helps people with renovations. A thing to keep in mind with flippers is that they're mostly motivated by profit, and they also tend to have a lot of experience. So they'll feel comfortable acting as their own general contractor—which means hiring tradespeople, doing some work themselves, ordering and scheduling materials, dealing with all the permits and inspections, scheduling and managing the crew, and drawing up a reasonable budget. This saves them money but it's real work! And if you've never done it before on a major project you can easily get in over your h
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